Minister Mouynes raises international visibility of Panama’s initiatives and mission-driven investments with business leaders and students in Miami

Panama’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Erika Mouynes, traveled to Miami on March 8, where she attended the 2022 Latin American Program Wilson Center Awards and delivered remarks to members of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and students at Florida International University. 

At the Latin American Wilson Center Awards, Minister Mouynes joined government, business, and civil society leaders in congratulating the Wilson Center honorees for their contributions to economic development, environmental conservation, and the fight for gender equality in Latin America.  

In addition to attending the Wilson Center awards, Minister Mouynes spoke with the business leaders of today at the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and global leaders of tomorrow at Florida International University. During both events, Minister Mouynes emphasized Panama’s global leadership in combatting climate change, addressing the migration crisis, promoting gender equality, and enabling international trade. 

Panama understands its role as a trade and transportation hub in the Americas and invites the international private sector to form strategic public-private alliances that will be beneficial for all,” said Mouynes during the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce event. “Within the Alliance for Development in Democracy set up by Panama, the Dominican Republic, and Costa Rica, we have a business council that will offer opportunities for foreign investors.” 

Speaking with students at Florida International University, Minister Mouynes discussed climate change, a global crisis with the potential to drastically impact the next generation. Mouynes pointed to Panama’s status as one of only three carbon negative countries in the world, taking more carbon out of the atmosphere than it emits. She attributed this to Panama’s world-leading conservation policies and its clean energy transition plan – in 2021, Panama already produced 82% of its electricity from renewable sources. 

Minister Mouynes also addressed the migration crisis facing Latin America with both audiences and highlighted Panama’s leadership in rallying the international community towards addressing the situation together. Thanks to the collaboration with partners like the U.S., Costa Rica, and Colombia, the number of migrants crossing into Panama through the Darien Gap has decreased from 2,461 per day at its peak in August to just 140 today. 

In recognition of International Women’s Day on March 8, Minister Mouynes highlighted Panama’s leadership in fighting for gender equality. Panama is implementing bold initiatives to ensure women are represented at the highest levels of business and public service, including establishing a requirement that women make up at least 30% of corporate boards of public entities and some private entities. As one of only five female lead diplomats in Latin America, Minister Mouynes understands the importance of this work. 

Lastly, Minister Mouynes referenced the work of the Alliance for Development in Democracy, an initiative recently announced by Panama, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic. The alliance is aimed at defending democratic institutions at a time when they are under attack in Latin America and around the world, demonstrating that democracy can deliver results. 

In her closing remarks to students at Florida International University, Mouynes emphasized “Whether it’s about domestic violence, equal opportunities or environmental issues, you have an opportunity that generations before you didn’t, and that is social media. That is your weapon, and you have the power to organize, activate and energize others to fight for what you believe is right. When you’re organized, you communicate one message and that is even more powerful.”